Besides one issue where we learned a bit about our principle antagonist in this series and some short flashbacks, the heart-breaking Marvel NOW series ‘Avengers Arena’ has taken place entirely on Murder World. But if you’ve been wondering if the young heroes have some friends on the outside that are worried sick about them, you’re about to find out in issue thirteen when guest writer Christos Gage takes the reins.
According to Marvel.com, the ‘Avengers Academy’ scribe will be reuniting with artist Karl Moline and joining the creative team of ‘Avengers Arena’ for a brief stint to shed some light on how the rest of the Marvel Universe is reacting to the missing kids that Arcade abducted to fight to the death for his own sick enjoyment. And leading the charge to locate their friends is the youngest Runaway, Molly Hayes, and Avengers Academy founder Hank Pym.
In an interview discussing his involvement in this project and his homecoming of sorts with characters he’s had some experience with in the past, Gage explains his intentions and approach to his arc on ‘Avengers Arena’:
“We’ll be looking at what’s happening in the outside world. Where do their families and friends think the kids abducted to Murder World are? Do they know they’re missing? If not, how has Arcade managed to cover up so many abductions? It’s something readers have been curious about, and I’m glad I got to provide an answer; I feel like my guest stint on the book is an important part of the larger saga, not a “fill-in,” but I also don’t feel like I’m stepping on Dennis [Hopeless]’ toes either, because I’m looking at a completely different side of things.”
After revealing that this series takes place only two weeks after the end of ‘Avengers Academy’, the writer continues by explaining how Molly and Hank get involved in the search for the missing heroes:
“In the Runaways two-parter I did with Karl in ‘Avengers Academy’ #27-28, Hank Pym struck a deal with the Runaways. He wouldn’t oppose them continuing to live on their own, if they promised to check in with him once a month so he could make sure they were okay. This is one of those check-ins, and Molly says she’s not okay; two of her friends, Nico and Chase, are gone, and they must have been kidnapped by bad guys because they’d never stay away so long otherwise. Fellow Runaway Karolina Dean, who is dating Avengers Academy’s Julie Power, patiently says there’s an explanation for why they’re gone and Molly’s just upset, but when Hank—who’s a pretty sharp guy—learns they left at the same time several Avengers Academy students also departed suddenly, he decides it bears looking into. I love the dynamic with Molly and Hank, because he’s like me: totally awkward and unsure what to do around kids. But he means well, and he tries, and he talks to Molly like she’s capable of understanding as much as any adult and Molly appreciates that.”
Beside Molly and Pym, a number of heroes that we haven’t seen in a while will be popping up in Gage’s run like Finesse, Julie Power, White Tiger (who is gearing up to join Luke Cage’s Mighty Avengers during ‘Infinity’), Tigra, and Butterball.
If you’re really excited about this upcoming storyline and can’t wait until it hits your local comic shop in August, Marvel has provided a small sneak peek at the book in the form of some penciled pages from Moline. You can check those out in the gallery below:
Are you looking forward to finally seeing the outside world finally realize that these various teen heroes are missing? How do you think Christos Gage and Karl Moline will do as they revisit their old territory? And how do you think the Marvel Universe will #HelpMolly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.